Sep 10 2013

Shelby Safeguards Jobs Protecting Troops in Anniston New order for upgraded Stryker vehicles keeps Anniston workers on the job

ANNISTON , Alabama -- A new round of conversion work on combat vehicles will keep 80 people on the job at Anniston Army Depot.

U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., vice chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced Tuesday the Army's TACOM Life Cycle Management Command will convert 66 additional flat bottom Stryker infantry combat vehicles to the new Double V Hull models.

The order enables those working on the DVH exchange program at Anniston to keep their jobs.

"This announcement is welcome news for our troops who depend on the DVH Stryker and the workers in Alabama who build them," Shelby said. "I am pleased that the Army responded to my request to address this matter."

In December 2012, Shelby sent a letter to Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno questioning the program's future. In his letter, Shelby said the Stryker represents an "exponential increase in soldier safety," and the Army should work to "build and field additional Stryker DVH vehicles as fast as possible."

"Failure to contract for the additional Stryker DVH vehicles will cause layoffs to occur and the loss of the quality workforce that now produces the...vehicle," Shelby wrote.

Delays to the program have already led to layoffs at General Dynamics, Anniston Army Depot's partner in the Stryker program. 

The Army has a total of 3,300 Strykers, including 600 built with the double-V hulls. Of the 600, more than 50 have already been retrofitted with a new underbody design to better withstand roadside bombs.